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Social consequences of evolution

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Belief in evolution has had considerable consequences for human societies.

It has done this in two ways. One is by displacing the place of Christianity and the moral standards it brings. The other is by teaching that humans are animals, thereby allowing people to argue that behaviours which occur in the animal kingdom are acceptable for humans.

Consequences include increased racism, acceptance of Communism, and lowering of moral values.

Contents

Background

In many societies, Christianity was the dominant religion for much of the past 2000 years, and as a result, these societies generally enjoyed great prosperity, technological advancement, and human rights. Slavery, for example, was abolished in Western societies largely due to the Christian view of mankind as being made in the image of God. And modern science developed as a direct result of a Christian worldview.

However, with Charles Darwin seeming to put evolutionary ideas on a scientific footing, Christianity, which is incompatible with evolution, came under increasing attack.

The result has been that the standards and philosophies upon which western societies have been based have themselves been undermined, with considerable negative consequences for those and other societies.

Supporters of evolution frequently claim, quite correctly, that the truth or otherwise of an idea should not be judged by its consequences. But it is equally true to say that ideas do have consequences, and belief in evolution has had grave consequences for human societies.

Evolution's influence is in part because of ideas it brings to society, and in part because of its effect in undermining the influence of Christianity. As a textbook from Britain's Natural History Museum explains:

The Darwinian world-view dislodges any divine scheme as an explanation of how we behave, and in its place puts the notion that we should perform such behaviours as maximized the reproductive success of our ancestors[1]

Racism

Racism—treating someone differently because they are of a different "race"—has been around for a long time, but evolution gave it legitimacy. The Bible teaches that all people are descendants of Adam and Eve, and of Noah and his family, only a few thousand years ago. The apostle Paul, in preaching to the Greeks in Athens, pointed out that "From one man he [God] made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth..."[2]

Evolution, however, teaches that man is one of many products of evolution and different creatures evolved differently. It follows from that teaching that some people are more evolved than others, and this is precisely what evolutionists used to believe until the science of genetics falsified this part of the evolutionary belief.

Darwin himself is acknowledged as having had racist views,[3][4] having considered some people to be closer to animals. In one of his notebooks he wrote of the inhabitants of the southern tip of South America as a response to anyone who might try and point out the large difference between humans and animals, "compare, the Fuegian & Ourang & outang, & dare to say difference so great".[5] He also compared Feugians and Australian aborigines unfavourably with dogs.[3]

Evolutionist and historian of science Stephen Jay Gould said:

Biological arguments for racism may have been common before 1850, but they increased by orders of magnitude following the acceptance of evolutionary theory.[6]

This thinking made its way into textbooks. Civic Biology, the textbook that John Scopes taught from in Tennessee in 1925, said that

At the present time, there exists upon the Earth five races or varieties of man, each very different from the other in instincts, social customs, and, to an extent, in structure. These are the Ethiopian or negro type, originating in Africa; the Malay or brown race, from the islands of the Pacific; the American Indian; the Mongolian or yellow race, including the natives of China, Japan, and the Eskimos, and finally the highest type of all, the Caucasians, represented by the civilized white inhabitants of Europe and America.[7]

An Australian textbook published in 1969 described the development of man from Paleolithic Man to modern man, and pictures an Australian aborigine with the caption, "Twentieth-century Paleolithic Man — the Australian aborigine.".[8]

Bodies of Australian aborigines were shipped to museums around the world interested in having examples of the "missing link". Reportedly 10,000 were sent to Britain alone. These bodies and skulls included those of aborigines who were shot for the purpose.[9]

Communism

Karl Marx, who laid the groundwork for communism, found in Darwin's Origin of the Species justification for his views. In 1873 he sent Darwin a copy of his book Das Kapital, with the comment that he was a great admirer.[10]

Joseph Stalin, described as "the world's worst mass murderer", became an atheist after reading Darwin, according to a friend of Stalin.[10] Without a God to be answerable to, Stalin was free to do what he liked.

...because Darwinism undermined the authority of the Bible on origins, it meant that, logically, there was no accountability to God for the mass murder they [Marx, Stalin, and Hitler] used to implement their ideas. In fact, such tactics could be justified by Darwinism. Without an absolute standard of right and wrong, those in power are not accountable to any standard. So ‘might’ becomes ‘right’.[11]

Evolution was introduced to China around 1900 with a translation of Huxley's Evolution and Ethics and Herbert Spencer's The Study of Sociology.[12][13] Darwin's Origin of the Species followed soon after.[12][14] Evolution had a huge impact on Chinese thinking, so that in the 21st century more people in China (71.8%) believed that humans evolved from animals than in Western countries.[13] Evolution was important to Chinese communism:

Mao also recognised the importance of Darwinian theory. It legitimised his nation. In 1957 the chairman discussed China in Darwinist terms: "Socialism, in the ideological struggle, now enjoys all the conditions to triumph as the fittest." That same year Mao also invoked Darwin to justify his Hundred Flowers Campaign of openness to invite new ideas for advancement of the communist nation, writing: "Correct and good things have often at first been looked upon not as fragrant flowers but as poisonous weeds; Copernicus's theory of the solar system and Darwin's theory of evolution were once dismissed as erroneous and had to win out over bitter opposition." Brock concluded that without Darwin "the ground would not have been tilled for Mao to sow the seeds and reap the crop."[12]

Morality

By undermining Christianity, evolution has undermined Christian moral values, but has also provided apparent justification for various immoral practices.

One reason sometimes used to justify homosexuality is that various animal species engage in homosexual behaviour. As humans are animals, why should we be reject what is therefore supposedly natural, the argument goes. As a representative of the University of Oslo's Natural History Museum explained,

The argument that a homosexual way of living cannot be accepted because it is against the “laws of nature” can now be rejected scientifically.[15]

Craig Palmer, co-author of A Natural History Of Rape: Biological Bases Of Sexual Coercion, argued that rape was due to evolution and may have a survival advantage:

That there is obviously some evolutionary basis to rape just like there is some evolutionary basis to all aspects of living things. In the book we narrow it down to two plausible specific evolutionary reasons for why we are a species in which rape occurs. One is just a by-product of evolved differences between the sexualities of males and females. Or, two, rape might be an adaptation. There might have been selection favouring males who raped under some circumstances in the past. And therefore there might be some aspects of male brains designed specifically to rape under some conditions.[16]

Self esteem

Sunday school attendance, property crime, and male youth suicide in Australia.

Christianity teaches that God created mankind as a deliberate act, made in His "image", meaning that we are like Him in some ways, and distinct from the rest of creation (nature) which was not made in His image.

By contrast, if evolution is true, the existence of people is the result of a series of chance events, and we are, in principle, no different than animals and the rest of nature.

Susan Blackmore:

If you really think about evolution and why we human beings are here, you have to come to the conclusion that we are here for absolutely no reason at all.[17]

William Provine:

Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear … There are no gods, no purposes, no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end for me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning to life, and no free will for humans, either.[18]

The effect that would be expected from this is what has occurred. Since the teaching of evolution in schools became widespread in the 1950s and 1960s, male youth suicide rates, for example, have increased enormously.

Further reading

References

  1. Silvertown, J. (ed.), 99% Ape: How evolution adds up, The [British] Natural History Museum in association with the Open University, 2008, p. 184, ISBN 0565092316
  2. Acts 17:26
  3. 3.0 3.1 Cosner, Lita, From Darwin to Dover—A broad overview of creation vs evolution, Journal of Creation 23(2):30–32, August 2009.
  4. Darwin historians not misrepresented, 25 July 2009.
  5. Darwin, Charles, Notebook M, 1838, note p. 153
  6. Gould, Stephen Jay, Ontogeny and Phylogeny, Belknap-Harvard Press, Cambridge, MA, pp. 127–128, 1977., quoted by Ham, Batten, and Wieland, One Blood, chapter 3.
  7. Hunter, George William, A Civic Biology (1914), p.196.
  8. Oldmeadow, M. W., and Schoenheimer, H. P., The Human Adventure, Cassell Australia, 1969, p.9.
  9. Wieland, Carl, Darwin’s bodysnatchers: new horrors, Creation 14(2):16–18, March 1992.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Grigg, Russell, Stalin: from choir boy to communist butcher, Creation 31(1):52–54, December 2008.
  11. Hall, 2005
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Butt, Riazat, Darwinism, through a Chinese lens, Gardian.co.uk, 16 November 2009.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Theory of Evolution in China, eTeacher Chinese Official Blog, May 2010?
  14. List of works needed for Darwin Online, The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online.
  15. Goudarzi, Sara, Homosexual Animals Out of the Closet, Live Science 16 November 2006.
  16. Palmer, Craig, in an interview with John Lofton, Rape, for good or ill?, WorldNetDaily, 25 March 2000.
  17. Blackmore, Susan, The world according to ..... Dr Susan Blackmore, The Independent, Wed. 21st January, 2004Wed. January 21st, 2004.
  18. {{{1}}}
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